For many entrepreneurs across the country, Small Business Saturday presents an opportunity to expand your list and increase your Q4 revenue. But so many small businesses competing for buyers’ attention, it is crucial that you create an effective marketing strategy that will stand out.
To help you start crafting a unique campaign, we talked to 10 small business leaders and asked them how they have approached and succeeded on Small Business Saturday in the past. Keep reading to learn how you can generate more customers this year!
1. Price Matching Incentive
Price matching with an incentive is a great way to direct traffic from larger businesses to yours. When talking about small vs. big businesses, it comes down to price. Oftentimes, small businesses will charge more because it costs more to create their product. However, the way to gain more traffic is to price match the bigger businesses and offer deals or future coupons to customers. It can feel like an uphill battle when trying to compete with larger organizations, but offering incentives where you can will begin to drive traffic.
Rex Murphy, Montauk Services
2. Promote Products on Social Media
Marketing and promoting your brand on social media can be a fantastic tool to maximize business. Promoting your business and products online and specifically to people in your area will help create a larger customer base and brand presence that will come into play when shoppers are looking to buy products in your industry. Using hashtags, keywords and ads will gain attention and direct customers your way.
Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital
3. Put the Necessary Work Ahead of Time
Preparation, preparation, preparation! Without putting in the necessary work ahead of time - be that scheduling emails, writing social media posts, testing systems or ordering more inventory - you’re going to miss out on the potential for a big win for your company. Plan ahead for big holiday or sales weekends and reap big rewards.
Stephanie Schull, Kegelbell
4. Tell Them Sale Prices Ahead of Time
Today’s customers are eager to do research and plan where they will spend their money. By informing them of exactly what will be on sale and the prices, you can build anticipation and increase demand! This strategy has been employed by huge brands like Walmart and Best Buy, and it can work for small businesses as well. You just have to promote across your website, social channels, and anywhere a potential client may be researching.
Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority
5. Have a Specific Call to Action
Have your marketing prepared in advance. Your marketing should focus on your target market’s problems and how you can solve them. Make sure your marketing has a clear call to action. Avoid generalities and platitudes, be specific on providing solutions to your market. Know where you are going to position your business in advance (social media, paid ads, local media, podcasts, blogs, newsletters, etc.). Be ready to speak to prospects and have your sales process set up and ready to execute. Don’t wait until the weekend is upon you – get ready now, then launch!
Steve Feld, Business Breakthrough Strategist
6. Get Your Products on Customers' Radar
Today’s customers are highly intelligent and tech-savvy! Before Small Business Saturday hits, they will most likely be doing research online or through social media to get an idea of which companies are having the best deals. In order to ensure you are on your customers’ radar, you should promote any sales or specials you will have that day. This will build anticipation and stimulate more word of mouth marketing as well!
Nikitha Lokareddy, Markitors
7. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
More than 79% of smartphone users make purchases online using their mobile device. It's important to make sure that your website is mobile friendly and easy to navigate. Update your popular listings and hours of operation regularly. Equally important is making sure your site is listed for easy search on Google, Yellow Pages and other similar portals. Always remember that customer satisfaction is key, so have a phone number visible for customers to easily call you and order online as and when needed.
Parul Agrawal, Business Growth Strategist, Publisher and Publicist
8. Incentivize Customers to Spread the Word
Small businesses lack the capital large conglomerates have to allocate to massive ad campaigns. However, they usually have a loyal base of local customers to back them up—and I'd advise incentivizing customers to share/refer their network to your business. Brick-and-mortar businesses can offer on-location referral discounts; small online shops can offer a referral discount or free delivery, whatever is cost-efficient but is most fitting to your business.
Hung Nguyen, Smallpdf
9. Get in the Local Scene
The biggest opportunity is to join with other organizations that will be promoting this specific weekend such as Local First Arizona. These kinds of focused associations have "buying power" and can leverage your company in ways that would be expensive if not impossible by yourself. For instance, I just saw a social media post for my favorite coffee shop, Songbird Coffee and Tea, and their founder Erin Westgate featured because LFA was using their resources to get Songbird some broad publicity. We must always partner and utilize our resources!
Katharine Halpin, Halpin Companies
10. Let Everyone Know You’re a Small Business
Especially with internet business, your small organization may look like a much larger company to outside viewers. For example, you could have a ton of reviews, or some major press hits, or even just really sharp web design, and these may all signal to a visitor that you are a larger business than you are. So, let potential customers know that you are a small business. For example, you could add a banner to your website indicating your small business status and include your number of employees. You could also publish articles or case studies that talk about being a small business and how you operate. Featuring the business owner and the owner's involvement in operations is another way to signal that you are a small company.
Michael Alexis, Teambuilding